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1979 Cold Case Resurfaces In Utah, Police Looking For Suspects

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Whittney Evans/KUER
Photos from the Richardson case. From left to right

Utah Police announced today that they believe they have solved a 39-year-old murder. They are looking for two men who are suspects in the shooting death of a 54-year-old paraplegic man.

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Credit The Salt Lake County Jail
Hector Brito, seen here in an old mug shot is a suspect in the 1979 murder of Jack Richardson.

In January 1979, a Salt Lake County Sheriff’s deputy found Jack Richardson dead inside his Holladay, Utah home in what appeared to be a bungled burglary. Now Unified Police have a warrant for the arrest of two men accused of killing him. But no one knows where the suspects are. Detectives believe suspects Hector Brito and Pascual Alfonseca dressed as women, boarded a bus and left the state shortly after killing Richardson. 

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Credit Salt Lake County Jail
Pascual Alfonseca is a suspect in the 1979 murder of Jack Richardson.

The two men have been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated burglary and obstruction of justice. Richardson’s daughter Karin Johnstone called on the public’s help Friday.

“It’s our hope that the people who are responsible for this can be now brought to justice,” Johnstone said. “We’ve waited a long time and we need this closure. And we need all the help that we can get to make that happen.”

Law enforcement have long considered Brito and Alfonseca as suspects. There was, at one time an active warrant out for their arrest, but Salt Lake County District Attorney District Attorney Sim Gill said a judge, in 1991 dismissed the warrant. The Unified Police Department’s Cold Case Homicide Unit recently reopened the case and were able to gather enough evidence to file charges.  

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